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This is continuation of the Finish Najib series, Part 2. Part 1.

To finish Najib, finish off all his scaffolding props.

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Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat are the only reasons PAS is so gungho today. Invariably, the two had strengthened PAS which, in its turn, had strengthened the hand of Najib Razak. Without Umno doing a thing, the MO1 Thief has gotten 30-odd more seats in safety margin and, therefore, a political and electoral lifeline.

Najib’s fixed deposit is no more guaranteed from Sarawak or Sabah. It is PAS.

Zaid Ibrahim (above) has a valid point about Kelantan. There are two problems in his argument.

  • (a) Why stop at Kelantan?
  • (b) If Najib is the ultimate target, why limit the target mainly to Umno. Is PAS invincible, Allah or no Allah? Are Malays in Kelantan so stupid as not to see the betrayal by and, hence, immorality of PAS? Or 1MDB?

On the other hand, consider the following:

  • Fact: PAS is Najib’s fixed deposit today and in the future, fallout or no fallout from BN and/or Umno. He will not let PAS go, at whatever the dedak cost.
  • Fact: Another coalition with PAS seriously risk another betrayal while PAS still uses one of its vice-presidents as an opposition camouflage, saying bad things about Umno every now and then.
  • Fact: PAS has failed Kelantan for 30-40 years, from poverty to freedom issues.
  • Fact: The next GE is the last chance. Failing that, every Opposition political party close shop.
  • Fact: Up and down the country, Amanah v PAS immediately clears the seat distribution issue and leaves wide open for Bersatu v Umno, all one on one. No wasteful seat negotiations are necessary, just follow the old pattern.

The opposition coalition already has a foot in the door in Kelantan. Why be satisfied with just a couple of seats there? In pure Malay seats, Amanah v PAS would be difficult, of course, but neither Amanah nor Bersatu has anything to lose and all to gain. The Chinese will help finance your campaign: our badminton players got 200K more from Najib.

Drive out those Salafist ulamas from Kelantan to Kedah and Selangor back into the Arabian Dead Sea where they come from. PAS is easier than Umno to finish off but only if the two are made synonymous because they are. Finish PAS, finish off Najib: a fixed deposit asset is switched around to become his liability.

The road to Putrajaya is not straight. Go north then come back down. In the river, water always win over solid rock. Always.

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China and 1MDB

China’s Ambassador Huang Huikang (黄惠康 below) explain the involvement of two Chinese companies into Bandar Malaysia and Edra, both former companies of 1MDB. It is dated stuff. He however says nothing about KTM’s East Rail Link, and if there was such a contract tied to the bailout of a USD6-7 bn portion of 1MDB’s total debts, that portion to IPIC. Sarawak Report has so far offer no further information nor verification into the deal that was information obtained, it said, from a leak of documents a month or so ago.

感谢 祖国支持华 桥教育

Pity that man, how he struggles to bring out his thoughts in English and still keep them accurate.

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You think we’re gay?

To speak the truth is easy and pleasant. — Mikhail Bulgakov

With a contemptuous, haughty look on his face, Lee Chong Wei has vehemently (clip above) denied the existence of a letter from Lin Dan, a denial that was neither easy nor pleasant.

Perhaps there never was a letter, or perhaps there was a letter and never sent. Or, perhaps there was a letter sent and everyone had seen it other than Lee Chong Wei. It doesn’t matter one way or the other; if Chong Wei insists there isn’t then there isn’t. This planet will continue to spin regardless.

There are two problems with his denial though. One, it is his spitting tone. Second is the way he analogizes to a reporter about the letter (in translation from Chong Wei’s bazaar Malay): “Do you think we are in love writing letters! Jeez!

His obvious inference is that only people in love write letters, whether between genders or between men. There’s no other purpose that people write to each other.

Below are samples of letters, in poem form, written by Du Fu 杜甫 (712–770) and Li Bai 李白 (701–762) to each other and about each other.

Li Bai on Du Fu

(an unpolished English translation after that)

戏赠杜甫

饭颗山头逢杜甫
顶戴笠子日卓午
借问别来太瘦生
总为从前作诗苦

Drama at Old Fu

A mountain top snack comes with Du Fu

Bamboo hat shelters him from summer’s sun

Since the last we met, so thin he’s become

Yet, now or then, poetry agonizes him

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Du Fu to Li Bai (no translation)

夢李白 (之二)

浮雲終日行
遊子久不至
三夜頻夢君
情親見君意
告歸常局促
苦道來不易
江湖多風波
舟楫恐失墜
出門搔白首
若負平生志
冠蓋滿京華
斯人獨憔悴
孰云網恢恢
將老身反累
千秋萬歲名
寂寞身後事

Both men were contemporaries living at the time of the flowering of Tang art and literature, both minor officials, Li Bai the elder and more prone to drink, Du Fu prone to poverty (one of his children died of starvation) because he has endless trouble keeping his job. Poetry was a staple of Tang literature and people write to each other for all sorts of reasons, often times as an exchange of gifts for a wedding, a departure, birth and deaths. Here is a comment about the two:

One very revealing part of the Tang legacy is the handful of poems that Li Bai and Du Fu wrote to each other. Poems about friendship or those exchanged between friends were a standard element of the Tang poetic canon. But the poems between Li Bai and Du Fu have an incredible poignancy as they say so much about how these two great poets saw themselves and each other. Just imagine, for example, how meaningful it would be if Shakespeare and John Donne happened to exchange a few personal sonnets. So in a way, we have been permitted a much more intimate glimpse into the hearts and minds of these Tang poets even at such great temporal and cultural remove than we have of the most renowned poets in our own tradition.

The two men were seldom talked about independent of each other. An Oxford bibliography introductory comment:

From the earliest moment of their pairing, which we can date to the Middle Tang writings of Han Yu and Bai Juyi, there developed what we can rightly call the “Li-Du debate,” the terms of which became so deeply ingrained in the critical discourse surrounding these two poets that almost any characterization of the one implicitly critiqued the other. Remarkably, no argument attempting to reverse the terms or discredit this practice has quite succeeded in dissolving the cultural ties that bind Li Bai and Du Fu.

No words, no man. Without words, humans cease to exist. Words from Lin Dan to Chong Wei would be perfectly normal. The Lin Dan letter had a lot of details, not in any personal, individual sense but speaks instead of a relationship at a deeply existential level. Nothing in it suggests gay or love, none at all.

Yet, why did Chong Wei bring it up? If there was no letter then it was simple enough to say so. After which Chong Wei might say he wish there was indeed such a letter — especially one so well written, and profound. He could just as well add, Lin-Lee is the post-modern Li-Du over a net. Anyone got a problem with that?

Instead, in his haughty tone, Chong Wei was simultaneously disdainful and snooty (in the clip, look out for that ugliness), all characteristic, and the exact replica, of some illiterate, fucked-up, old timer MCA businessman who thinks he knows the world better than everybody else. Where did Chong Wei learn his speech manners? In some Malaysian New Village? What had his father taught him? Or his mother? Where did he go to school? What did he learn in school?

Chong Wei, it’s time to hang up your racket and get an education, boy. Try English if hanzi baffles you. That way, you get to read more letters. You seem to know nothing, understand nothing, so that all you can do with your life, now coming to an early end, is to prance around a net smashing shuttlecocks. Your hands may be fast, but your brains … it works like your incredibly stupid tongue.

You should read more letters, towkay Lee, and learn from the Russians: they are masters with the truth. You…?

Last thing: Now that you’ve done your promotion of Najib Razak, why don’t you go back to your toys.

* https://i1.wp.com/www.tangspirit.net/200.0.1.0.16777215.0.stories.large.2011.04.24.LiBai.jpg

Lee Chong Wei logic: They (above and below) write letters to each other, so they must be gay.

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Excerpt

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Through the Snow

How are roads beaten through virgin snow? A man walks in front, sweating and swearing, barely able to place one foot in front of the other, constantly getting stuck in the deep, powdery snow. He walks a long way, leaving behind him a trail of uneven black pits. He gets tired, he lies down on the snow, he lights a cigarette, and a blue cloud of makhorka smoke spreads over the white shining snow. The man has already gone on further but the cloud still hangs where he rested – the air is almost motionless. Roads are always beaten on still days, so that human toil is not erased by the winds. The man chooses markers for himself in the snowy infinity: a cliff, a tall tree. He pilots his body through the snow, just as a helmsman steers a boat down a river, from headland to headland. Shoulder to shoulder, in a row, five or six men follow the man’s narrow and uncertain track. They walk beside this track, not along it. When they reach a predetermined spot, they turn round and walk back in the same manner, tramping down virgin snow, a place where man’s foot has never trodden. The road is opened. Along it can move people, strings of sleighs, tractors. If the others were to follow directly behind the first man, in his footsteps, they would create a narrow path, a trail that is visible but barely walkable, a string of holes more impassable than virgin snow. It’s the first man who has the hardest task; when he runs out of strength, someone else from that vanguard of five goes out in front. Every one of them, even the smallest, even the weakest, must tread on a little virgin snow – not in someone else’s footsteps. The people on the tractors and horses, however, will be not writers but readers.

Written in 1956; first published in 1978

Translated by Robert Chandler and Nathan Wilkinson

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There he goes again: Money. Reported in Malaysiakini:

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announced an additional RM200,000 for those who bagged silver and bronze medals in the Rio 2016 Olympics. Prior to this, he said, the government pledged RM300,000 for those who won silver. “Today, the government will add another RM200,000, making it (the total) half a million.”

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A Short Note of Thanks to Najib Razak

Dear Najib,

This is a quick note to thank you for your kind generosity. We, the Chinese, are returning the money. All of it. Again, thank you and — Fuck you.

Free Namewee!

Pendatang Cina

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Why Namewee must be freed

(Scroll to the bottom for the last segment of post.)

 

chop the roots of Najib. Crush the al-Sauds.

Who are they? What are they? Here’s the opening bid…

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Saudi Arabia, the World’s Greatest Evil

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Backed by the World’s Greatest Power

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…Their Trail of Destruction. In Yemen

US Aiding and Abetting Saudi Slaughter in Yemen

The [Saudi coalition, including Malaysia,] air force bombs: [They] bomb our sons and our daughters, our men and our friends. Why are they doing this? What have we done to them?Yemeni man in Sana’a

But why the Saudi carpet bombing? Answer by Saudi Arabia to Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken in Riyadh: “We want to wipe out the Houthis.

Excerpted from Democracy Now.

Andrew Cockburn, Washington Editor, Harper’s: [T]hey’ve [the Saudis] attacked—consistently attacked economic targets having nothing to do with any kind of war effort, but like potato chip factories, water bottling factories, power plants. It’s an effort to destroy Yemen. And that’s what, as Kristine said, we are part of that. This is our war, and it’s shameful.

I mean, I’ll give you one quick example. Yes, everyone is horrified by Syria and what’s going on there, and quite rightly so. And we’ve had this picture of that poor Syrian child that’s gone viral. Yesterday, The New York Times had one—you know, had a piece saying one—a picture of one Syrian child went viral, but here are seven others, so seven other children that got similarly affected. And I thought, “Oh, maybe they’ll mention a Yemeni.” Not so. Syrian other—seven other unfortunate Syrian children. But I defy you to find a single picture in The New York Times or any other mainstream New York media of any of the hundreds, if not thousands, of Yemeni children, because no one really knows how many have been wounded or killed by the Saudi bombing.

Sen. Chris Murphy: There is an American imprint on every civilian life lost in Yemen. Why? Well, it’s because though the Saudis are actually dropping the bombs from their planes, they couldn’t do it without the United States. It’s our munitions, sold to the Saudis. It’s our planes that are refueling the Saudi jets. And it’s our intelligence that are helping the Saudis provide their targeting. We have made a decision to go to war in Yemen against a Houthi rebel army that poses no existential threat to the United States.

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In Syria: Hillary’s Fingerprints All Over

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Hacked emails prove Hillary armed jihadists in Syria, including ISIS

Fresh off of throwing the Democratic National Convention into turmoil after proving that party officials had conspired to sabotage Bernie Sanders’ campaign, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced that he has some even more damaging material in his trove of hacked emails — this time involving Hillary Clinton pushing to arm jihadists in Syria, including ISIS. — DailyWire

Those Hillary Clinton emails, they connect together with the cables that we have published of Hillary Clinton, creating a rich picture of how Hillary Clinton performs in office, but, more broadly, how the U.S. Department of State operates. So, for example, the disastrous, absolutely disastrous intervention in Libya, the destruction of the Gaddafi government, which led to the occupation of ISIS of large segments of that country, weapons flows going over to Syria, being pushed by Hillary Clinton, into jihadists within Syria, including ISIS, that’s there in those emails. — Julian Assange

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In Libya, Hillary Again

The Hillary Clinton accountability: You would have seen it all in Malaysia under Najib.

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US & Saudi Salafism & ISIS

Why Saudi Arabia, not Iran is the country responsible for the spread of terrorism. From the Duran:

Denunciations by the US of Iran as the world’s main state sponsor of terrorism are way off the mark. The record shows that Iran is not involved in terrorism to any significant degree and that it is Wahhabist Sunni groups ultimately connected to Saudi Arabia, not Shia groups connected to Iran, which are the main practitioners of terrorism.

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In the House of Al-Saud: al-Qaeda, ISIS, Jihadists

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Left side of the above paired photos: Mahmoud Raslan (in blue, front) is the man taking a selfie with an armed group in Syria. Raslan also took the photo on the right, which is used to show, in red lines, two of the men with another group involved in the ISIS beheading of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy last July in Aleppo, Syria.

And Mahmoud Raslan is the same man who took the photo, below, which has got the world weeping for Allah and Muslim kids, among who are all of Malaysia’s naive, bleeding heart PKR arsehole politicians, starting with Nurul.

Like ISIS is so good at duplicity, so is Najib Razak their professed admirer.

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Saudi, Salafist Beginnings & the Origins of Islam

Just as Arabs created Islam to buttress their conquest and provide legitimacy of rule by invoking divinity (a Roman secular idea), the ‘people’s will’ in modern democracy, PAS and Umno conveniently used Islam for their political conquest. God was made in the process, not the other way around.

Islam is an Arab religion as Christianity is a Jew religion. None originated from this part of the world. Why, when Malays would reject Europeans who presented them Christianity, should they accept the Arabic word, Quran or no Quran? Where is Merdeka, if Malaysia, Malays especially, shackle independence to the history of a band of nomadic camel herders?

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Jihad, ISIS Beginnings & the Origins of Islam

The Saudis and ISIS sing from the same hymn sheet. — Tom Holland, UK historian

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To Save Malaysia: Finish the Al-Sauds

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Yesterday’s photo, below: Najib Razak (below) with religious advisers to the Saudi king, a country named after the al-Saud family, the only such country in the world.

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Najib’s penchant for associating with medieval fascist and religious tribal thugs has become a characteristic of his rule of Malaysia. Like the al-Saud name is invoked to declare ownership of a country, Najib invokes his Bugis ancestry and his father to gain legitimacy — especially after stealing USD billions — and then make every party stooge sing the refrain that Umno is Najib and loyalty to Umno is loyalty to Najib.

There have been no shortage of Umno arseholes tripping over each other to pledge loyalty and, in the process, say all sorts of absurdities. Nawawi Ahmad and Idris Haron are among the latest. Even pondans like Azalina O are doing it, so why not Nazri or Hisham.

Yet, in plain truth, Najib is just a common thief and 21st Century pirate, now dressed and robed in some camouflage, foreign desert tribal god that has absolutely nothing to do with original Malay culture.

Why not go all the way: Umno politicians should proposed a constitutional change of Malaysia’s name. How about Al-Najibstan? Who is to stop the man? He already has Umno allegiance. He does what he wants; he owns this fucked-up country, and to prove his Salafist credentials to the al-Saud, he aligns Umno with PAS and prosecutes anybody who ever question Salafist allegiance but calls it ‘protecting Islam’.

Namewee is the among the first Chinese to suffer under Najib’s Salafist deity worship.

To solve Malaysia’s problems and get Najib out of the way simultaneously, perhaps the Opposition should form a pact with Iran and Russia, after which those Shia Ayatollahs would be welcomed to nuke Saudi Arabia and turn that desert into fine ash — and so be done, once and for all, with a 1,400 year-old tribal rivalry spilling into SEA shores. After which, the world might just get back some peace.

It is a not a coincidence that modern day’s biggest financial fraud has an al-Saud name affixed. And, further, if the al-Saud family bring their problems to us, we take our problems to them.

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if Najib Razak survives?

She, clip above, has asked herself the same question, ‘What if…‘. She has found no answer other than to be greeted by uniformed police thugs and to be met with frustration and helplessness in the face of the world’s most powerful fraudster. All this leads to utter despondency, and the despair shows: ‘Why do you all pretend nothing has happened?’ she screams in the end. Why indeed.

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The Zimbabwe of Asia

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In a Mugabe street, the Zimbabwean dollar is so worthless, cheaper even than the paper it is printed on, only kids had any use for it. Question: Will it take 20 years, the duration it took Mugabe to wreck everything? Or, will it come sooner? Najib’s present allies are 3 million Umno members and a coterie of sycophants online and off. Fed on dedak or made inept by their cheap, third rate minds schooled by Umno teachers, spewing daily garbage on their websites, they all pretend as well.

Meanwhile, the big shot hedonistic pomp and their big shot KFC dinners… small minds are easily impressed.

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You can almost picture Najib in Mugabe’s place beneath the phalanx of swords. He’d borrow them from PAS Kelantan though, but those keris aren’t long enough. Below, with Mugabe in 2011 in Langkawi, the 1MDB year when he had already ripped off USD1 bn and was preparing for an even bigger heist, USD6 bn.

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Whatever government I succeed in creating will certainly adhere to the letter and spirit of our constitution since that government will itself have been the product of such a constitution. Only a government that subjects itself to the rule of law has any moral right to demand of its citizens obedience to the rule of law. I urge you, whether black or white, to join me in a new pledge to forget our grim past, forgive others and forget, join hands in a new amity, and together, as Zimbabweans, trample upon racialism, tribalism, and regionalism, and work hard together to reconstruct and rehabilitate our society as we reinvigorate our economic machinery.

Those words are Robert Mugabe’s, in 1965. So soothing to the ear, how, from the mouth of Najib, can it not be anything else but uplifting — for the Melayu especially. They are a reminder though: Never trust words. Never! They are created only for that moment.

Now, compare those promises above with the anecdotes below.

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Malaysia’s Zimbabwe Future

They taught us to read but there were no books. — A Zimbabwe man to Doris Lessing

Only someone who’s lived [there can] understand why. They are so dead and narrow and stultifying. If you are living in that kind of society where a small number of people are oppressing a great many, they become obsessed by the fact, and they talk about nothing else, day and night. And I always think of Goethe, who said, if you are going to keep a man down in the ditch, you are going to have to get into the ditch with him. — Doris Lessing

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Consider any of the Umno ministers, ‘Tengku’ Adnan, Salleh Rahman, Ismail Sabri and others, Idris Haron or ‘Langkawi’ Nawawi and their goons, from the IGP to Petra Kamarudin (RPK). Gather their remarks, from ‘if I say I am rich, I’m inviting kidnap‘ to ‘Umno is sacred, next to god‘ and ‘Najib is Allah’s gift to Umno‘, or RPK’s ‘Mahathir is dead duck‘, what emerges from the collage is a picture of a psychotic and insane clique, megalomaniac to boot.

But all that is still quite insufficient to picture the kind of a future Malaysia if Najib survives. Their words come from something and must go somewhere. But where? What of it?

C.B. George writes:

As I write this, Harare is in the throes of civil unrest. After more than 35 years under the government of President Robert Mugabe and ZANU (PF), the people’s exhausted torpor seems to have finally given way to existential terror. Yesterday, Zimbabweans took to the streets demonstrating against police harassment, unpaid wages, cash shortages and rampant corruption; and the corrupt, cash-strapped, underpaid, harassed police meted out summary justice. Who knows where it will end?

This morning I get an email from a friend who’s been following the news. He has a question and, in the absence of knowing someone on the ground, turns to me (thus allowing the pair of us to indulge the grand tradition of discussing Zimbabwe’s wellbeing at great distance). The essence of his question is this—why’s it taken so long for the citizens to rise up? Solemnly accepting the responsibility of my role as “expert,” my answer is long and various. But, in this context, one paragraph is relevant. “You need to understand,” I write. “That the success of the independence war against an apartheid regime was predicated on uniting the people behind the freedom fighters as the authentic heirs to Zimbabwe. Since 1980, ZANU have successfully maintained this narrative to the point that the President has almost been portrayed as the personification of the nation. Any dissenting voice, therefore, can be represented as not just anti-government, but anti-Zimbabwean.”

No sooner do I send this off than I read of the President’s response to the demonstrators. “They are not part of us,” he says. Trust me, the “us” here is not “us, ZANU,” it is “us, Zimbabwe.” He is saying, if you don’t support me, you are not an authentic Zimbabwean. That is quite an assertion for someone who claims a democratic mandate.

Malaysia’s future foretold in pariah Zimbabwe isn’t as bad as living it. Mugabe took a dozen years to turn a once model state to an insane institution; and the two histories are strikingly similar. Why not the future as well?

Najib’s future way of dealing with Malaysia isn’t just plausible, therefore; it is completely real and already present. Mugabe required no external support. All he had to do was changed the history then plunder its past and all its plantations and its diamond and gold mines. He is still around because, he says, of democracy.

The ways of Mugabe before, and now Najib, isn’t just financial or material plunder; with power on Najib’s side, those acts would be easy.

The other, ongoing part today is to sequester the colonialist Umno idea then embody himself into it as the ultimate national identity for which the general Malay population already supported. Out of that process, it is to denigrate and simultaneously overturn every known value and thus to create a new absurdity.

Najib’s inspiration isn’t the Saudis or Marcos, although those would have helped; it is Zimbabwe.

Seeing the future today, we are left just with this option: tie up Najib’s legs, bound his hands and hurl him down the well of history.

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Mugabe’s 12 million ringgit mansion in Bukit Tunku, above, and in Harare below.

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In Hong Kong circa 2016, Aug 20: The Equanimity which Jho Low had bought with money that didn’t belong to him.

Got a good celebrity fuck last night, Joey Boy? Keep it up, and make the most of it while you still can. After that, we swear on your grandfather’s grave we are going to nail your motherfucking arse, and as Petra Kamarudin would have it, cut off your balls and nail them onto a cell wall, one for Najib Razak, the other Rosmah.

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In Support of Namewee

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因为有你,才有了更好的我。… 抱你的时候,我真是觉得,这十几年,和你,仿佛是一场梦。 我会拿着你的球衣,和我未来的孩子说。有个叫李宗伟的叔叔,是爸爸最伟大的对手,也是最好的朋友。 — 于林丹李宗伟

Only because of you, there is a better me. … When I hugged you I felt the past ten years with you had been a dream. I will take your jersey to my future child and say, ‘There is an uncle named Lee Chong Wei, your dad’s greatest rival and best friend.‘  — Lin Dan to Chong Wei

247c

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When Lin Dan hugged then took off his jersey to exchange it with Lee Chong Wei, English-language television commentators said the gesture was one of true Olympian sportsmanship. They were completely wrong, and untrue. It was a deeply personal act, as Lin Dan’s letter (below) will show. Outside Malaysia, Chong Wei would joke that his name-initials LCW means ‘Let China Win’. Friendship and rivalry are simply the flip sides of the same coin: rivalry strengthens friendship and vice-versa, a concept that westerners and Anglophiles seem to have trouble understanding.

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Malaysiakini English editors had on the night of the Olympic semi-final badminton match titled their report, ‘Lee Chong Wei slays Lin Dan‘. They weren’t just false in the word ‘slay’, but the editors also revealed their utter anti-Chinese prejudices and ignorance. Lin Dan’s letter to Lee Chong Wei (below in Chinese and translated English) will show that. It needed to wait a dozen years to write.

More to the point, the letter is a classic. In it Lin Dan reflects the deep and profound Chinese philosophical traditions and especially its existential outlook, preceding even Kierkergaard and Sartre, and in ways that illiterate Malaysian Anglophiles and Malaiyoos will never understand. The existential idea says this, without the existence of One, there is no the Other. Without Chong Wei, there is no Lin Dan and vice-versa; without silver there will never be gold.

Another Lin Dan example: “We’re not measured by results“. A few paragraphs later, he adds, “It took me some effort to beat the Indian kid… When I didn’t want to press on, I would remember my promise I had with you, the promise to meet you in the semi-finals…

The inference is most profound: Lee Chong Wei, feted by all Malaysia as badminton master, could have been possible only because of another Chinese named Lin Dan, a good man from our Motherland.

Lin Dan’s letter first appeared in public in the Chinese sina.com site titled 情怀|林丹李宗伟给彼此的信 . It begins, thus, wuxiong zongwei 吾兄宗伟 My clan elder brother Wei. [Letter in English translation after the hanzi version.]

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林丹的信。他们的奥运四分之一决赛比赛结束后一天。

吾兄宗伟

昨天看你扔下球拍、在空中跳起怒吼的时候,我真的很为你高兴。

  我们俩,认识该有十六年了吧。当年我们还意气风发,那时有陶菲克,有皮特盖德,我们俩还不够出色,第一次交手我赢了,可是我们谁也不会想到,这么多年来,竟然和你打了这么多场比赛。

  我们互有胜负,当然,让我小小骄傲一下,还是我赢得更多一些。但我不想谈成绩怎样怎样,因为你我早已不是可以用成绩来衡量的人。有人叫我“超级丹”,也有人为你感到悲情,因为你,感觉运气总是比我差一点,每次大赛的时候,我都能赢你一头。

  还是挺感谢你的。我的名字里,除了那些大满贯、冠军外,还有个温情的联系“林李”。我们也能像C罗与梅西,伯德和魔术师,费德勒和纳达尔一样,因为彼此的存在而永恒。

  因为有你,才有了更好的我。我拿到了几乎都能拿到的冠军,却依然不敢放下心来去偷懒。本来我可以高唱着无敌最是寂 寞,可是因为有你,每次都把我逼出冷汗,每次都能在决赛和我隔网相对的你。你在后面拼了命的追我,我也不能就这样让你轻易杀过来啊。你练,我也练。你不服 输,我不敢懈怠。

  就这样,我们都成了老家伙了。后来者越来越多了。我偶尔和你短信聊聊天,说说这些年轻人。他们不行啊,诸强争霸,哪像我们那个时候,只有我们两个。说实话,挺寂寞的,但是每次和你对战,都能将我全身的力量迸发出来。我练了这么久的剑,只有你,配得上我剑刃出鞘。

  于是,就到了里约,我的第四届奥运会。四分之一决赛的时候,我打印度那小子挺费劲的,但我挺了过来。当我差点没坚持住的时候,我就想起自己和你的约定,和你在半决赛相会的约定。

  第三十七次和你隔网相对,离第一次已经过了一个轮回。说真的,当我滑了那一下输给你的时候,我没有遗憾。你是我最伟大的对手,我愿意输给你,不后悔。抱你的时候,我真是觉得,这十几年,和你,仿佛是一场梦。

  我会拿着你的球衣,和我未来的孩子说。有个叫李宗伟的叔叔,是爸爸最伟大的对手,也是最好的朋友。

  最好的年华遇见你,是我的运气。决赛加油。——林丹

***


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Lin Dan’s Letter to Chong Wei the day after their Olympic semi-final match.

The English translation below, found in says. com, is not perfect but sufficient to reflect not just Lin Dan’s thoughts and feelings but especially his deep association with Chong Wei, a relationship rooted in their common Chinese ancestry, a cultural idea that transcends nationality and geography.

Such a feeling is possible only between two Chinese (not Anglophiles). Lin Dan spoke of it as the Lee-Lin relationship. That and the fact that Chong Wei and he had already met in the semi-finals explain why Lin Dan felt no longer compelled nor motivated to fight and win the bronze.

In beating Lin Dan, then crying over the victory, the Danish kid Viktor Axelsen thought he had beaten, with better skills, the World No. 1 badminton player. Axelsen probably thinks that skills is the final and most important arbiter in a contest. He could not have been more mistaken, but he doesn’t know it.

The letter is most moving when read in hanzi. From says.com:

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你是我最好的朋友 也是我的真爱

mug

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The Road Not Taken — by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

A Robert Frost Lesson in Melayu Politics

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For a man who had produced an autobiography and likes recording his thoughts on paper, Mahathir Mohamad is, paradoxically, adverse to books, literature in particular. He once chided Anwar Ibrahim as ‘bookish’, meaning the latter read too much. But, what’s too much?

On point of fact, Malays don’t read enough and Umno saw to it. The thoughts of the men when it isn’t Umno and Allah, it is money and, in consequence, lack a deep enough, solid tradition in literature.

In Robert Frost is a lesson for Mahathir in politics: Specifically, how shall the Malay choose between two Malay parties. It would have been the same dilemma confronting Mahathir when pondering over whether to create Bersatu.

Frost’s poem titled The Road Not Taken is problematic because of the interlocking lines in the beginning and ending:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The most frequent interpretation from those lines is the common idea of risk-taking, hence taking the road less traveled. Yet the title has exactly the opposite connotation:  it “isn’t about what [the speaker] did; it’s about what he didn’t do”, says David Orr.

This problem is further confounded by the lines that say of a decision — choosing which road — based purely on appearances. But Orr argues, “We typically worry more about where roads go than what they look like.”

Argued in this way, then Mahathir’s presentation of a choice between two roads — Bersatu or Umno — produces a startling new angle to view the dilemma he had inflicted upon himself and, as he would in days to come, inflict on the Malays as well. Two roads are about the same and, indeed in Frost, Umno has the better claim and is already trodden black.

If the Malays don’t take the Bersatu road they will, perhaps even regrettably, never know what’s at the end of the road because there is no going back with the decision they had otherwise taken, the one well traveled by. Yet, we know where that will take the Malays since the results of that decision — the road first taken 60 years ago — are everywhere seen today.

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Excerpted from David Orr.

“The Road Not Taken” has confused audiences literally from the beginning. In the spring of 1915, Frost sent an envelope to Edward Thomas that contained only one item: a draft of “The Road Not Taken,” under the title “Two Roads.” According to Lawrance Thompson, Frost had been inspired to write the poem by Thomas’s habit of regretting whatever path the pair took during their long walks in the countryside—an impulse that Frost equated with the romantic predisposi­tion for “crying over what might have been.”

The difficulty with “The Road Not Taken” starts, ap­propriately enough, with its title. Recall the poem’s conclu­sion: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.” These are not only the poem’s best­-known lines, but the ones that capture what most readers take to be its central image: a lonely path that we take at great risk, possibly for great reward. So vivid is that image that many readers simply assume that the poem is called “The Road Less Traveled.” Search­ engine data indicates that searches for “Frost” and “Road Less Traveled” (or “Travelled”) are extremely common, and even ac­complished critics routinely refer to the poem by its most famous line. For example, in an otherwise penetrating essay on Frost’s ability to say two things at once, Kathryn Schulz, the book reviewer for New York magazine, mistakenly calls the poem “The Road Less Traveled” and then, in an irony Frost might have savored, describes it as “not-very-Frosty.”

Because the poem isn’t “The Road Less Traveled.” It’s “The Road Not Taken.” And the road not taken, of course, is the road one didn’t take—which means that the title passes over the “less traveled” road the speaker claims to have fol­lowed in order to foreground the road he never tried. The title isn’t about what he did; it’s about what he didn’t do. Or is it? The more one thinks about it, the more difficult it be­ comes to be sure who is doing what and why. As the scholar Mark Richardson puts it:

Which road, after all, is the road “not taken”? Is it the one the speaker takes, which, according to his last description of it, is “less travelled”—that is to say, not taken by others? Or does the title refer to the suppos­edly better-­travelled road that the speaker himself fails to take? Precisely who is not doing the taking?

We know that Frost originally titled the poem “Two Roads,” so renaming it “The Road Not Taken” was a matter of deliberation, not whim. Frost wanted readers to ask the questions Richardson asks.

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